Mystery Quilt Announced!

Bonnie Hunter is graciously designed another mystery quilt.  She announced colors and yardage requirements yesterday.  I started blindly planning for this quilt back in August. I will be deviating from her colors somewhat.  I am going with cheddar for my oranges and blacks for the neutrals.  A skyish blue for blue.  Yellow in place of red, and neutrals for green.  All of these contrast greatly and have already starched/ironed the fabric I know I will be using.  If you are interested in colors and mystery quilt building I highly recommend going to her blog at quiltville.blogspot.com or by clicking this link directly to go to the details of the mystery quilt. This year’s mystery will be different for me.

With the upcomming delivery of my new longarm, I am itching for this process and have lots of tops to finish.  The mystery will be on the back burner ready to start after the reveal.  Because I have deviated to my own color scheme, I want to make sure I like the end result.  Last years On Ringo Lake mystery quilt is still only partially quilted waiting for me to quit being lazy and get going.  It is hard to quilt on a 6 inch throat space.  It really builds up your trapezes muscles, the muscles between your shoulders and your neck.  In much quilting my neck looks like that of a body builder.  (Too bad the rest of me us a gelatinous mess, ha!)

For the neutrals my plan is to go black.  The great thing about planing a quilt like this is photography.  What looks great to the human eye, may not look as great on camera.  Some of these may not make the cut.  These were taken from a layer cake called Harvest Moon.

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For orange I am going cheddar!

For the blue I am going my hue of blue.

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For red I will go yellow.  Will need to pull more from the stash or make a trip to the quilt shop.  I may shop my mothers stash.  🙂

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I Think for the greens I will go neutrals!

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I can’t wait to see how this unfolds!  I am dreaming of a mystery pineapple in blacks with colors in the corners.  I have the larger version of the folded corners ruler and I am finding I really like this ruler.  I can straight cut my smaller pieces of fabric with it as well as snowball the corners.  I have even used this as a binding tool and have emailed Doug Leko the creator of the tool and told him as such.  I am hoping that planted a seed and he teamed up with Bonnie for a dramatic mystery quilt event.  If you are having a hard time ordering this tool, last year I just ordered straight from him at Antler Designs.  This is Doug’s website, and he even signed my receipt and thanked me for my purchase.  Since is he is such a youngster I imagine his inventions as they come will take the quilting industry by storm in the future.  This ruler really makes you work smarter not harder!  For those of you curious about this implement, click here to see how you use it.  Bonnie is also demonstrating the larger version here.  A word of caution.  Using this tool, your 1/4 inch seam allowance needs to be a couple of  threads in so when you fold the fiber over the thread stitching, it will press out to the perfect dimension.  Something I learned during On Ringo Lake, my machine was waaaaaaay off for the seam allowance.  Quite frustrating if you do not know what is going on.  This makes beautiful flying geese without having to draw the line on the fabric then trim, then press.  It skips the tedious step of drawing the line.  The cut is accurate and the seam presses out perfectly to the right dimension.

If you have never followed along on a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, no matter what your experience YOU will LEARN more in a few weeks, than the lifetime you have been doing it!  I promise!  It will improve your piecing and accuracy in all things quilty.  You will get lessons on color and value, and if I am not mistaken there will be an upcoming video where Bonnie and Holly Anne Knight of String and Story discuss switching up the colors and how you know what direction to take.  I am curious about this and you will probably find mention of it here soon.

This week I have rather abandoned the sewing machine.  The temps in the house rose to an uncomfortable level and I refuse to run the AC.  It will be there, and guess what it cooled off just yesterday so I will be back at foot pedaling my way through fabric.  For now I have gotten out my knitting loom and with a hodgepodge of yarn have came a ways on a cuddle blanket.  I am playing with stitches and have attempted a trellis stitch, as well as just a knitting stitch.  I will attempting other stitches and will reveal this work one day when quilty things have slowed down.

So are you participating in this years Mystery Quilt?  I look forward to hearing your comments!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Mardi Gras Colored En Provence Mystery Quilt

The weekend time continuum has increased in speed.  Most weekends seem like that.  I have all my En Provence rows sewn.  I have the sashing for the outer border completed.  Now I need to sew the rows together, as well as piece the neutral border.  I feel like I accomplished something, but paid the price of precious weekend time.  There will always be next weekend or snippets during the week.  I am getting so close.

enprovencerowsenprovenceborderThe colors in this almost correspond with Mardi Gras.  Would have been neat to finish with “fat tuesday”, since this is modeled after a french place.  Suitable to finish on a french holiday….ah well.  Here I have laid the strips of blocks on the bed.  I have started playing with the neutral pieces in the border.  Not many of those are sewn together.  This part will go relatively fast.  I am ready to move onto a UFO that is calling my name.  I have all these ideas and projects I want to start but I refrain, to keep on track.  I am afraid if I stray on En Provence, it will be a UFO for a long time.  Hopefully the next post of this, the top will be completed.

Pictures at last En Provence

Well, you can now actually see for yourself that I am sewing and making progress on En Provence Mystery quilt.  The change in color I made for the secondary stars is perfect with the current vintage pillow cases on the bed (my bed also performs as my design wall).  It also accents the yellow on my walls nicely.  I have sewn the 16 blocks together with the sashing in between for 4 rows total.  Now I need to go back and piece some more QST’s to make the sashing in between the 4 rows.  Oh my goodness it won’t be long and it will be complete!

queenqueensideAnd spring is in the air here.  My poor daffodils that have only bloomed once in the last 18 years due to frost, snow, drought, and other bad weather conditions.  They have survived and managed to show their lovely blooming colors.

Quilt Iron(y)

Happy New Year readers!  I rang in the new year sewing on my Mystery Quilt En Provence, which is not such a mystery anymore.  While sewing and ironing, I ran out of my Faultless spray starch.  Things had shifted the week before in the closet where I put the iron up, and by moving a photo album I uncovered more starch so I did not make a trip to the store.  I used starch in my stash (never thought I would say that).

I sprayed my blocks, and using my trusty Rowenta iron, started ironing as usual.  When the iron hits the starch it outgassed a fresh smell, and for some reason I kept smelling cinnamon.  I pressed on!  Then when I got out a large piece of fabric, the starch spit funny out of the can.  My iron started just dragging on the fabric.  I looked at the bottom of my iron, and it appeared all the starch was sticking to my iron and not staying on the cloth.  And the smell, look like cinnamon was caramelizing on the bottom of my iron.  My first thought, my almost 10 year old iron was crapping out (as it has taken a few tumbles off the iron board).  So I quit using starch and filled my reservoir and used steam instead.  I sprayed a spot on my ironing board to see what would happen on the cloth (not on my precious fabric but on the ironing board cover).  Believe it or not, somehow the starch had oxidized in the can and rusted in the can, so no telling how much rust I spewed onto the cloth I was working with.  The date on the can said 2008…ooops.  I was able to clean the bottom of my Rowenta with my scrub daddy and cold water (after it had cooled off), and the bottom looked brand new again.  However, I found there are spots on the iron that just are not getting hot enough to get the wrinkles out.  My iron is dying a slow death.

In the meantime, after seeing many quilters on youtube videos go back to the old fashioned irons, I thought I would be on the lookout for an oldie (they don’t make them like that anymore).  I found one on Ebay, and it arrived Tuesday.  I plugged it in and turned the setting to cotton, and with no effort it beautifully ironed my QST.  I walked out of the room to get more to iron (as there was a backlog) and when I came back into the room I noticed the iron was turned up (by my roommate who was intrigued by this old new iron) so I turned it back down to cotton (there is a higher temp setting than cotton…who knew).  But, because this iron is old and a huge heat sink, the cool off time is much longer.  I did not know it would not be instant, and I ironed one more block and it singed the neutral a bit.  See the picture below, the bottom center.  There is a hint of browning on the fabric.epmqst

After this, I shut the iron off and made a note to self, that I can actually burn fabric with this new old iron.  I must be vigilant and very careful from now on.  An hour later I went to go put the iron up and because this thing is one huge chunk of metal, it was still hot to the touch.  I had to wait two hours to put it in it’s safe place.  For those of you who have an iron that does not eliminate wrinkles from your fabric without the use of starch, it is time for a new iron.  I recommend buying new used.

I am very excited because I have a new, useful quilters toy—er I mean tool.  If you are looking into buying a new iron, don’t go with sunbeam, black and decker, etcetera.  I recommend spending a few dollars more and getting a Rowenta.  However, make sure the Rowenta you buy is made in Germany.  Big box stores including JoAnn’s have irons made in China and Mexico which usually leak and crap out after a couple of years.  The great iron debate to purchase a new one and pay the extra price tag, or buy a cheap one and replace it in a couple of years.  Either way it is about the same money.

En Provence clue 6?

So, I went to bed late around 12:30ish a.m., anxiously awaiting clue 6 from Bonnie Hunters Mystery Quilt.  I woke straight up out of bed and could not go back to sleep at 3:30 a.m.  I kept checking the website this morning until finally, when I checked just past 6 a.m., she posted a clue.  Due to lack of sleep, I am still wide awake but the critical thinking skills are starting to fade, hence the question mark behind 6.  Yup….verified….we are on clue 6.

So we get to retire the dark purples and start using the light purples again, along with some neutrals and the introductions of greens.  I chose a caribbean greenish blue for my quilt, it seems to work.  Here is the start of my clue 6. qst

I did not purchase Bonnie’s new essential triangle tool.  I am making do with the companion angle and easy angle.  Instead of having one tool I have 2, and they work.  I am really surprised how well this ruler system works.  I loathe cutting and to not have to square things up with the sliver trimming is very smart.  Work smarter not harder right?  Just snipping with a scissors the dog ears on the blocks :)~.  I am wondering if I should stop doing that because I am taking warmth out of the quilt?  That little piece does add a layer of thickness….ah well.  I will leave them from now and see if they get in the way later when it all comes together.

Yesterday I had an XXX quilting event.  No, not anything naked and showing skin.  It was more of an extreme, quilty, sport sort of a productive day.  The half hexi made with Moda’s fabric line Bee Creative, is pieced and quilted.  That accuquilt cutter is amazing and takes so much work out of the cutting aspect of the quilt.  I will hopefully have another finish before years end and bind this one in the next day or so to bump my final count to 14.  Be looking for that post soon.  Now, off to the QST races.  Oh, and don’t forget to read my other blog!  Thanks for stopping by!

Brrrrrrr to Blurrrrrrrr!

This past week started out COLD!  As the week progressed with the holiday, it became a blur.

The En Provence Mystery quilt clue was released a tad early which was very thoughtful of Bonnie (Click here to see how everyone is coming along with the link up).  Have any of you added up the pieces so far that are in this quilt?  I added up the blocks with all the parts in each one and we are now up to 2224 pieces!!!!  This quilt is off to an amazing start and will be the quilt with the most pieces that I have put together so far in my entire life, with more goodness to come.

epclue5I am currently working two other projects one with a deadline of ASAP (need thread for this one as I ran out)

This project above I have started quilting many layers.  The woven on the left is going to be the outside of a laptop case that I am making.  The outside layer of the chenille part will be the woven in the right picture.  There is one fabric not pictured which is the layer on the chenille side that will not be cut.  This one may be a few weeks away before I can get back to it as I have to order thread, my cone runneth dry.

Additionally I am also working a baby quilt for a co-worker.  He is a bee keeper on the side and was kind enough to give me beeswax at no charge.  And during the Thanksgiving sales at MSQC I was able to purchase 4 charm packs of Moda Bee Creative line for 10 bucks!  Wooohoo!  And in keeping with the theme of things used the accuquilt cutter die for the half hexi block and have started piecing them together.

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I think I will call this quilt Honeycomb, not sure if it going to be a boy or a girl but it will work for either.

I have yet another quilt to start which the baby is due in Feb.  I have not quite figured what I am going to do for that one, but check back often for my updated posts.  Oh and don’t forget to take a look-see at my other cooking blog.

Clue 1 complete, Clue 2 behind, Clue 3 New!

Yesterday they released clue 3 for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt En Provence.  So today I got out the purples and starched and cut my strips.  Last night I finally finished up the neutral 4 patches.  I also worked on the triangles from clue number 2.  I am enjoying this process because the next step is unknown and therefore less cumbersome to think about.  I learned a long time ago that sewing one patch over and over is kind of monotonous.  My mind wants more color and different blocks to sew.  A one patch quilt is very hard for me to stay focused on because of the monotony.

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A shoe box above is housing all 221 neutral 4 patches with a few triangle blocks.  Yes I am done with this step and was very bored with it as it is not challenging.  The challenge is finishing this step ha!

Because I had issues with my tri recs ruler I am behind for clue 2.  But instead of me being glass half empty, lets say that I am almost 50% complete with this step.

Because I am craving a little color cloth to run through my hands, I have started on the strip sets for the purples.  I am certain by the time I finish this step I will be bored to death with it.  The good news is I can sew some of the triangles in between to help with the monotony.

purplesI am still wondering how all of this is going to come together.  She said once we are done with clue 2 (the triangles), that we can put that fabric away.  This color way is kinda scarce for it being the main color of the quilt as she suggested.  Perhaps I misunderstood.

Lots of 4 patches….lets do some math  clue 1 is 221 blocks, clue 2 is 100 blocks, and clue 3 is 168 blocks….a tally of this says so far a total of 489 3 inch blocks.  This quilt top will probably be the most pieces in one top I have ever done.  I do have a queen size scrappy quilt that has over 1100 pieces.  We are not quite halfway there with the 489 but I bet we end up with over 1100.  I am doing my best to keep up, if only I could have a bucket of more time and a maid to clean the house and cook….*sigh*.  I better be careful what I wish for.  With time off around the corner I am certain I will catch up and you will see more frequent posts from me.  Additionally I am working on a chenille project for a laptop that I hope to post within the week.  Now, off to fill bobbins :)~

Click here for more Mystery Quilt links.

En Provence Mystery Quilt REWORK

trirecsIn a previous post, after sewing several blocks using the tri recs ruler for clue 2 in the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt going on now, I determined that my ruler was defective.  Out of curiosity today I took it to my LAQS and compared them.  I was right, it is off by just enough to throw it way out of wack.  I gladly purchased a new one to proceed with the mystery quilt.

I couldn’t wait to get home and try out the new ruler.  The very first block I sewed…..was how it should be….accurate!  So now I am really behind, by more than a week.

I am still sewing the 4 patch blocks.  During her quilt cam video on Sunday she mentioned a calculated error for neutrals by a yard and a half.  So while I was at the quilt shop I also picked up a few new fat quarter neutrals to help me proceed and it is getting very scrappy.  I have 170 four patches done and some strip sets waiting to be ironed and joined with their mate to complete 51 more.  And because of the delays from my tri recs ruler caused, I have 7 of those complete and threw away about 10 blocks which where the ones coming up 1/8 inch short.

So the good news, I can make progress….the bad news I will have to re-sew 10 blocks and have wasted my effort trying to get those right.  Hopefully the next ruler we use the easy angle companion will NOT be defective which is made by the same company as the tri recs ruler.  Pressing on…….:)

Mystery Quilt Hurdle overcome

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If any of you are doing the En Provence mystery quilt with Bonnie Hunter, and using the tri recs ruler system and your blocks are not coming out it is possible your ruler is defective.  See my previous post.  Yup, I called in some manly experts in the house and he compared both angles on all sides.  The smaller ruler is fine.  However one side of the larger triangle is off.  He figured this out by comparing the 1/4 inch seam allowance mark to the edge of the ruler on two different mats.

So I have placed a black X on the bad side.  And will flip flop the ruler only with the good side leaving a scant of fabric coming past the bad side more at the top point of the ruler vs the bottom.  The closer to the bottom you get to the ruler the more accurate it is.

This ruler system cost a little more than $11.00.  I will press on with this as I have no choice.  But I would not recommend this product.  Too bad, because the rest of my rulers made by this company to my knowledge are true.  And I will probably leave a bad product review on Amazon to let all know that it is not true.

So tomorrow, I will re-tackle this block and it will be a tad more accurate.  This is quite unsettling.  Nothing like having an issue which gets you frustrated and then parlez’s into a very messy work area.  See photo above.  *sigh*

On a positive note, I have 170 4 patches completed now.